When contemplating a climbing trip from a US mountain town, several important factors come to mind: blue—even turquoise—water, cultural experiences and a European location where the dollar isn't drowned by the Euro.
Joe Josephson, Montana's most vocal ice proponent and author of Winter Dance, speaks about the precarious access to Hyalite Canyon: "Often in life, you don't realize how good you have it until it's gone—or at least under the threat of being taken away."
The fixtures of Silver Gulch—a bar and microbrewery in Fox, Alaska—had something to talk about: an 152-foot ice blob rising out of the flattest part of Alaska. What they didn't know: The Ghost Raven Ice Tower was a proving ground for the precocious.
The three months (if you're lucky) of joy for most Midwestern ice climbers are filled with long, sleepless weekend drives to Ontario, Northern Minnesota and Michigan's Upper Peninsula... But what about lunch breaks?
Welcome to Canada's best-kept chilly secret, where "the constant northwest winds result in some of the wildest ice formations imaginable: 10-foot umbrellas and fragile curtains waiting to kill anyone foolish enough to try climbing."